Coffee Break: Toby's Estate

written by:
March 5, 2012

Under-caffeinated Brooklynites have a new destination in Toby's Estate coffee, an Australian cafe import that opened in January. The company has been around since 1998 but for their first U.S. outpost they contacted New York firm nemaworkshop to design the space. "It was important that the cafe be a social space for the neighborhood," says nemaworkshop's Anurag Nema. Our last Coffee Break story, we focused on Coffee Bar, a cafe meant to be a stage for the craft of coffee. In a 180-degree flip, Toby's is designed to create a stage for community. "Over the last decade, cafes have been serving up more than cups of coffee to their patrons. They're meeting places, study rooms, extensions of our living rooms, a place we feel safe to harbor for a few hours while checking our email, or finishing the final scene in what will become our breakout playwright," continues Nema. With that in mind, have look at the space in our slideshow.

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  The cafe is located at 125 N 6th St in Brooklyn in what was once a market. The space tapers toward the back to emphasize the "stage" aspect of the design.
    The cafe is located at 125 N 6th St in Brooklyn in what was once a market. The space tapers toward the back to emphasize the "stage" aspect of the design.
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  The brightly lit cafe boasts ample tables and seating for patrons to read, converse, or catch up on work. "The main objective was to create an environment where people in the community would come, hang out and stay for a while," says Nema.
    The brightly lit cafe boasts ample tables and seating for patrons to read, converse, or catch up on work. "The main objective was to create an environment where people in the community would come, hang out and stay for a while," says Nema.
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  Nemaworkshop has quite a few cafe projects under their belt. "Owners are looking for us to develop spaces that are casual, comfortable, and not overly designed," says Nema. "They should feel relaxed and casual, carefully designed but seeming effortless." The shelving filled with coffee, team brewing equipment, and more for sale feels like more like a living-room bookshelf than selling space.
    Nemaworkshop has quite a few cafe projects under their belt. "Owners are looking for us to develop spaces that are casual, comfortable, and not overly designed," says Nema. "They should feel relaxed and casual, carefully designed but seeming effortless." The shelving filled with coffee, team brewing equipment, and more for sale feels like more like a living-room bookshelf than selling space.
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  The marble counter hots a line of single-drip coffee makers and a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine at the far end. They offer single-origin beans from Africa and South America, as well as blends.  Courtesy of: Rory Gardiner
    The marble counter hots a line of single-drip coffee makers and a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine at the far end. They offer single-origin beans from Africa and South America, as well as blends.

    Courtesy of: Rory Gardiner

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  The cafe offers Australian style comfort food with small bites, including a selection of pastries, sandwiches and desserts.
    The cafe offers Australian style comfort food with small bites, including a selection of pastries, sandwiches and desserts.
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  The roaster is a Probat Burns P25 imported from Germany.
    The roaster is a Probat Burns P25 imported from Germany.
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  In their Brew School, Toby's also offers free classes on how to evaluate and taste coffee, and workshops on espresso making, pour-over coffee, and latte art.
    In their Brew School, Toby's also offers free classes on how to evaluate and taste coffee, and workshops on espresso making, pour-over coffee, and latte art.
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  Here's another perspective of the 3,000-square-foot cafe and roastery. The cafe is open 7 days a week, from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Mondays through Thursdays, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Fridays, and 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit tobysestate.com.
    Here's another perspective of the 3,000-square-foot cafe and roastery. The cafe is open 7 days a week, from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Mondays through Thursdays, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Fridays, and 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit tobysestate.com.

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